Successfully Onboarding Taxi Drivers
In order to recruit the right drivers, decrease turnover, and have a strong fleet, it is imperative that you successfully onboard your drivers. Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into your company.
When you onboard your drivers in the right way, you will increase productivity, create a strong company culture, increase employee retention, and have happy and confident employees. So, how do you achieve this? We will go over some processes that you can follow to successfully onboard your taxi drivers. So, let’s dig in!
Find the Right Drivers
When recruiting new drivers, it all starts with the application process and the interview. In today’s technological climate, it is best to offer an online application and there are many online services that allow you to post job openings. It’s also a good idea to ask your existing drivers if they know anyone that might be a good addition to the team (consider introducing a finder’s fee for providing a tip that leads to you hiring someone.) Once you review the resumes you receive, choose the best candidates and invite them in for an interview.
Ask all of the relevant questions that you need to know about the candidate but you also need to share a lot about your company and what the applicant can expect if they work for you. You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you, so make sure you leave room for questions from the applicants.
Decide which applicants you want to represent your brand towards your customers. It is a good idea to do background checks on the final candidates, call their references or past employers, and you can even ask them back in for a final interview. If all goes well and you still get a good feeling from the applicant, offer them the job. Once you have your new drivers hired, you can move on to the training process.
When first training your new hires, it is important to let them know exactly what is expected of them and that they are comfortable with these expectations. Let them ask any questions that they may have up to this point. Don’t just hand them a manual and assume that they are good to go. Open two-way communication is the best way to have a happy and confident driver.
There are different types of training that will need to be applied when you hire a new driver. These include safety training, technology training, operational training, and of course, on the job training.
Safety training is extremely important and should never be skipped. It should be one of the first things you do with new drivers and it’s never a bad idea to include current drivers to refresh their memory. If you don’t already have a safety training guide, there are some things you should be including. Risk management is a major aspect of safety training and your drivers need to know how and who to get in touch with in case of an emergency. It is also important to have a policy regarding the use of phones and how to safely use the dispatch system.
Technical training is important, especially for those drivers who aren’t as familiar with technology as others. This training should cover all aspects of your driver app (how to use it, when to use it, etc.) Go over it several times outside of the vehicle and then you can train them with it while doing their on-the-job training. If you have any other technology that the drivers will need to use, make sure they get the proper training and understand how to use it before going out into the field.
Operational training includes all the policies and procedures a driver might need, including some passenger management policies. Some of the policies you should include in this training are:
- Accident Reporting
- Vehicle Checks
- Alarm Alerts
- Passenger Management
- Customer Service
- Disruptive Passengers
- Transporting Disabled Passengers
- ID Display
- Security Cameras
When you hire a taxi driver, they need to be able to properly drive a taxi, get people where they need to go, and handle the extremely important customer service aspects of the job. When hiring a new driver, it is a great idea to pair them with an experienced driver with excellent customer reviews so they can see how they work. Then, let them into the driver's seat with the experienced driver helping them along the way. Your experienced driver can offer advice, answer any questions, and get a feel if the new driver can go out on their own.
Keep your drivers up to date with your expectations and give them regular performance reviews. It’s important to keep communication open at all times along with the performance reviews so everyone is always on the same page. This will make your drivers more confident in you and their job. Checking in every once in a while just to ask how things are going or if they have any questions or concerns can really boost morale.
Regularly review safety guidelines and procedural policies. Technology changes quickly and your dispatch app gets updated regularly so make sure your drivers update their app and understand any new changes that you implement.
The onboarding process is quite a journey and needs to be well thought out and followed through completely. It’s easy to forget how it is being new on the job. Follow the steps above and add anything that is specific to your business that your new taxi drivers need to know. Remember to gather feedback on what you can do to improve the onboarding process even more. No one can give you more valuable advice than those who just started working with you.
When a new employee goes through a great onboarding process, they are more likely to stay loyal, work hard, and be more productive. The benefits to your taxi business are exponential. If you don’t already have an onboarding process, now is the time to put one together!
As always, if we can help you in any way, reach out to us on our webchat and we’d be happy to help!